Thursday, May 12, 2016

Do we get all-Chi World Series in ’16?

Perhaps I’m just too much of a cynic, or most definitely not the idealist dreamer that comprises Chicago Cubs fans. But I’m certainly not amongst the ranks of people already making late October plans for a World Series to be played entirely within the city limits of the nation’s greatest city.

Who'd have won if Chicago had got ...
Yes, I already hear some people speculating about the notion of the American and National league champions being the two Chicago ball clubs, which would make for the first all-Chicago World Series in 110 years.

AFTER ALL, THE two teams currently with the best records in their respective leagues are the Chicago White Sox and those ragamuffins who typically stink out the joint at Clark and Addison – but this season haven’t been quite as awful as they usually are.

I just can’t get into the baseball fantasies yet, because there’s still plenty more time. We haven’t even hit the Memorial Day holiday, which is the one-third point of the baseball season.

That’s usually the point at which we can look at the standings and decide if a team or two got off to a good start. Any sooner is just ridiculously premature.

Of course, two first place teams on the day we pay tribute to those who gave their lives to fight for this nation’s principles (including the idea that baseball itself is the national pastime) isn’t any guarantee. There’d still be time for a collapse.

IT’S JUST THAT I can see all the ways in which this could fall short and plenty of time to do so. I read a recent commentary figuring out the many millions of seconds during which Donald Trump could right his campaign fortunes and wind up the winner.

That would also mean nearly as many millions of seconds in which either, if not both, of our city’s ball clubs could figure out a way to blow it big time!
... an all-Chicago World Series some 39 years ago?
Heck, I still remember 1977 (the summer I was 12, which is an age many figure is when most baseball fans get their permanent mindset established about the game).

I remember the Independence Day celebrations including talk of an all-Chicago World Series. I remember the month of July ending with both Chicago teams in first place.

TWO-THIRDS OF the way into the season, and both teams were World Series-bound, in our dreams. Yet by mid-August, both of them were out of it. In fact, I recall the Cubs collapsed badly enough that it took an end-of-season win streak just for the team to finish the season at 81-81.

As for those “South Side Hit Men” White Sox, they’re probably the best third place team ever that only hard-core fans have any memory of; and even then mostly because their two big bats of Richie Zisk and Oscar Gamble both fled the team after a single season.

There also were those years of 2003 and 2008 when both Chicago teams were in first place in September, and the Cubs actually won division titles (for what that’s worth) both seasons. But the Sox fell apart in the final weeks of ’03.

And as for ’08, both teams may have went to the playoffs. But both of them getting knocked out in the first round means that Tampa Bay and Philadelphia got the bragging rights of a World Series appearance that season.

IT’S WAY TOO early to dream with any seriousness of a City Series becoming the World Series. No matter how much people in this city would crave such an act.

Having the Chicago Cubs win their first National League championship since 1945 would be something that team’s fans would crave.

And the resulting World Series defeat at the hands of the White Sox  (with pitcher Chris Sale getting the victory in the final game against Jake Arrieta) would only add to that team’s loser aura – while also creating a South Side victory parade that would put the ’05 celebration to shame.


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